• synonyms


  1. of the nature of or characterized by convulsions or spasms.
  2. producing or accompanied by convulsion: convulsive rage.
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Origin of convulsive

From the Latin word convulsīvus, dating back to 1605–15. See convulse, -ive
Related formscon·vul·sive·ly, adverbcon·vul·sive·ness, nounpost·con·vul·sive, adjectiveun·con·vul·sive, adjectiveun·con·vul·sive·ly, adverbun·con·vul·sive·ness, noun

Synonyms for convulsive

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for convulsively

Historical Examples of convulsively

  • Convulsively he clutched it, wound it about one arm, and bade them haul.

    The Historical Nights' Entertainment

    Rafael Sabatini

  • He thrust the paper into his bosom, and then abruptly, convulsively, held out his hand.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • She walked to the window, convulsively grasping her pocket-handkerchief.

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair

  • The sack rose and fell as if something under it was squirming about convulsively.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • She could not finish the sentence for the squatter had pressed her to him convulsively.

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White

Word Origin and History for convulsively



1610s, from French convulsif, from Medieval Latin *convulsivus, from convulsus, past participle of convellere (see convulse (v.)). Related: Convulsively.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

convulsively in Medicine


  1. Characterized by or having the nature of convulsions.
  2. Having or producing convulsions.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.